OLYMPIA – Hunters must submit an application to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) by midnight March 13 to be eligible for this year’s spring black bear hunting permits.
A drawing for the permits, applicable to specific hunts in western or eastern Washington, will occur in mid-March. Permit winners will receive notification in the mail by March 31.
In western Washington, three pilot spring black bear damage hunts are scheduled from April 15 to June 15. The hunts will occur in the Capitol Forest (Capitol Peak Unit) southwest of Olympia, on the Kapowsin Tree Farm (South Unit) in eastern Pierce County and on Rainier Timberland property (Copalis Unit) in Grays Harbor County. A total of 250 permits will be issued in western Washington.
Hunters selected for the Kapowsin Tree Farm hunt must purchase an access permit from Hancock Forest Management by calling (800) 782-1493. Hunters selected for the Coplais Unit hunt must acquire an access permit from Rainier Timber Company at (360) 533-7000.
Spring black bear hunts are also scheduled in 13 game management units in eastern Washington from April 15 to May 31. A total of 235 permits will be issued for hunts east of the Cascades.
To apply for a spring black bear permit, hunters must purchase a special permit application and a hunting license that includes bear as a species option. Hunting licenses, bear transport tags and bear permit applications can be purchased at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/ , at any license vendor in the state or by calling (866) 246-9453.
Applications for the spring black bear hunt require a correct hunt choice number, which can be found on page 46 of the 2006 Big Game Hunting Seasons and Rules pamphlet http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations.
Hunters can visit https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/ or call (877) 945-3492 to submit a spring black bear application.
Any legal weapon used during the modern firearm, archery or muzzleloader seasons can be used for spring black bear hunts. Bait or hounds are not allowed for bear hunting.